I have been thinking about a question my family doc asked me during my last visit to her.   We were talking about my panic disorder and agoraphobia and she asked me if I have ever told anybody that I had these disorders.

I had this problem for about ten years before it was diagnosed.  In all that time I didn’t tell anyone, except for doctors, what was going on.  I was always lying and making excuses to people about why I couldn’t travel with them or why I couldn’t go shopping.  It was very discouraging for me to have to do this but at the same time I couldn’t admit that I had this problem.  Besides I didn’t even know myself what was going on.

Then about four years ago I decided to tell some hockey teammates what was happening.  By this time I had a name for my problem.  I decided to tell three teammates who were always bugging me to come to tournaments that required staying over night.  There are a couple of reasons why I don’t do over nights.  One of the reasons is travelling out of my safe zone.

After I told them about my disorder I experienced three different reactions.  One person has never acknowledged what I told them.  It’s like I never said anything to her.  To this day she has never mentioned it.  Another person suddenly became very concerned for me.  She was constantly asking me how I was doing.  I became this fragile person in her eyes.  The third person was always talking to me about her problems with her marriage.  She just needed to vent to someone.  After me sharing my problem she would start to vent then stop and ask me if it was ok if she said these things to me.  It was as if I all of sudden couldn’t handle hearing her stuff.

And these are a few of the reasons why I haven’t told anyone since.  It was like I became a different person in their eyes.  I asked one of my teammates how I was different now as opposed to before.  The only thing different is now she had some knowledge about me.

My doctor also asked me if I would consider telling anyone about my child abuse.  No, no and no.  If I had this kind of reaction to the mental problem what kind of reaction would I have for this?  I find the concept of telling a very scary thought. I have spent my whole life trying to be as normal looking as possible and hoping that no one could see the truth inside me.

Besides until I can tell my truth to myself how will it possible to tell it to someone else?

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5 Responses to Different

  1. Pingback: Mental Disorders 101

  2. onelongjourney says:

    Ah – so much in common – as with many other abuse survivors. Since I’ve been in therapy, I will be in social situations with long term friends and have a running dialogue in my mind about what it would be like if I told this person my past and what I am doing about it now. Hasn’t happened yet. I even distance myself from my college friend who I have talked about it with. She is coming to visit this summer and I am already getting anxious about it. And she already knows. I think the anxiety is related to a an intimacy that we have now – makes me uncomfortable.

    I haven’t even told other doctors – including my primary care doc. Always check NO on the abuse question.

    Do you think it will get easier?

    • lostinamaze says:

      Speaking for myself, I can’t see it getting easier at all. Whenever I think about even trying to share with others its like this wall comes slamming down. I’m not sure if I can get past that.

      Hence this blog was a giant leap for me.

  3. JBR says:

    I totally get you. The three responses you have given is probably typical. The first one I see a lot. It is like people cannot handle what you just told them and go into denial themselves.

    • lostinamaze says:

      I have often wondered about those responses. I have never told anyone since. It feels too risky to me because I don’t know how people will react. I wonder if I feel that way because I am not comfortable with it myself.

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